Altaer creates original works and partners with like-minded visionary leaders and organizations who share the same passion to create significant and lasting change in the lives of individuals, communities, and even nations.


Altaer was formed from the fusion of two complementary core desires: to be a living sacrifice bringing our lives and creative gifts to God as worship (the altar) and in turn to be used for change and transformation in people's lives (to alter).

This dual desire is the essence fueling and focusing every single thing we do.

James Spradlin, Founder

"I'm the founder of Altaer and an indie filmmaker and photographer. I've spent nearly two decades driving diverse creative projects across a myriad of industries from billion dollar global brands to homegrown innovative startups. But ... a few years ago I had a life changing encounter with God. In the wilderness, standing at a campfire, he unmistakably called me to enter into the front lines of his work, to suffer with others, to see his presence and power, and to share what I've seen and heard ... so others may experience him more. After working in the brand storytelling space for some time I never imagined my trajectory would take this dramatic shift. Instead of giving my life to make much of lesser things, every day I get to strive in my creative work to make much of God by showing and sharing stories of transformation. It is truly an undeserved gift."

We don’t just prefer challenging projects, we seek them out. Over the years we've learned that complex creative projects must be carefully engineered like any other great challenge to achieve all that is at stake.

Ethos for Making Visions Happen.

We reverse engineer from impact. We drive every detail start to finish. We deliver custom solutions to unique challenges.

No matter how much planning and professionalism we have poured into our projects we’ve also humbly learned, “unless the Lord builds, the builder builds in vain.”  Experiencing this ever present reality continually helps us to give our best by being extremely methodical, yet ultimately to live in the uncomfortably vulnerable space of the mercy of God for him to ultimately make every vision happen. This is ever so more true in the unpredictability of documentary filmmaking.  But, it is quite an amazing thing to co-create with God as we move through the journey of each project, being given ideas and opportunities we never dreamed possible. As this happens time and time again, these challenging experiences always result in greater gratefulness.

Process for Making Visions Happen

The story production process is often daunting due to the complexity of moving from a great idea to an effective story. We've applied years of experience and fine tuned business management methodologies to make the experience as simple as possible as we move through each step of the project.

Phase 1

Initial Fit

The first step is for us to learn about each project at a high level, including the best case scenario of what we all hope to accomplish. Then we will explore the unique characteristics of the project, such as how this project fits into the bigger picture of any greater strategy. We will assess any major challenges of the project, as well as establish the project boundaries of budgets and timelines.


  • Establish Project Vision, Goals, Needs, Campaign Strategy
  • Determine Potential Creative Development Schedule
  • Assess initial Resources, Budget and Timeline to Determine a Match

After completion of the initial fit process, the project is completed in two additional phases. Next, we design and develop an actionable Creative Brief and Production Plan. The Creative Brief serves as the story blueprints used to build the story through the full production process. The Production Plan outlines and details the execution of the creative concepts and storylines, including the budget, timelines, milestones, and the custom tailored creative team.

Phase 2

Developing the Creative Brief and Production Plan

Every visual story has the potential to be a catalyst for specific change in thoughts, feelings, and actions in the lives of specific people. But before deciding how long a story needs to be, or what type of cameras to use, or even what story to tell, to be effective we must always start with the end in mind: a clear vision. Therefore, the story becomes the means of bringing that vision to life. If we couldn't fail, what might happen? How would people think, feel, or act differently than before? Our extensive process allows us to discover and design the story that brings these hopes and dreams to life.

Milestones, Components and Processes

  • Executive Producer: leads overall project and all business components.
  • Film Director: leads creative development process and translates creative vision into filming framework.
  • Film Producer: designs and leads the management of the entire project start to finish.
  • / Discovery Begins
  • Identify Brand’s Vision & Strategy
  • Understand Brand’s Identity & Value Proposition
  • Conduct Full Diagnosis of the Situation: Limitations, Challenges, Available Resources
  • Identify Specific Target Viewers
  • Identify Specific Target Goals in Viewers: Impacting Thoughts, Feelings, Actions
  • Establish Clear Objectives for Success

  • Create the Executive Summary
  • Summarize the Overview of the Story
  • Design the The Story Strategy
  • Determine the Communication (and Organizational) Goals of the Film
  • Develop the Film Characteristics
  • Establish the Target Length and Recording Format
  • Design the Approach, Style, Tone
  • Develop the Main Character Stories and Settings
  • Create and Confirm the Core Truths and Themes
  • Confirm the Story Boundaries and Limitations

  • Create Executive Summary
  • Determine the Scope of Services and Estimated Costs for Creative Development, Pre-Production and Post Production
  • Establish Additional Team Roles
  • Design Delivery Schedule
  • Set Payment Terms and Design the Schedule
  • Establish the Protocols for the Review Process and Scope of Work Changes
  • Determine Music Licensing, IP Ownership

  • Provide the Detailed Creative Brief, determine any final changes
  • Provide the Production Plan, determine any final changes
  • Both are Approved

Phase 3

Bringing the Vision to Life through the Production Process

The story production process continues to follow the roadmap and frameworks established in the previous phases of the project. We begin with extensive preparation for filming, regardless how simple or complex the film schedule may be. Then after filming is completed, all of the captured assets move into the final stage of post-production. In post is where all of our hard work pays off as every component is put together to complete the original vision.

Milestones, Components and Processes

  • Executive Producer leads overall project and all business aspects.
  • Creative Director ensures the creative vision is executed effectively.
  • Film Director leads the film production team to capture the creative vision.
  • Film Producer leads the planning and operations of the nuts and bolts of the project.
  • Ongoing Creative Direction & Development
  • Drive Project Design and Management, Planning, Scheduling
  • Assemble Full Production Team
  • Scout Locations and Settings
  • Casting / Choose Characters
  • Select, Secure and Prep All Gear (Camera, Lighting, Audio, Props)

  • Creative Director continues to ensure the creative vision is executed effectively.
  • Film Director leads the film production team to capture the creative vision
  • Cinematographer is responsible for leading the camera team and capturing the intended look and feel.
  • Film Producer is responsible for the operations of all of the filming.
  • All Interview Footage and/or Scenes are Captured
  • All additional B-roll is Captured
  • All Storyboards are Executed
  • Footage is Logged and Backed Up and prepped for Post-Production

  • Film Director continues to ensure the creative vision is executed effectively.
  • Post Producer is responsible for the management of all of the goals and tasks in the editing process.
  • Editor is responsible for putting all of the creative pieces together to form the final story.
  • Assemble the Footage
  • Choose Footage Selects
  • Create Rough Draft
  • First Review
  • First Changes Made
  • Create Second Draft, Repeat
  • Final Music selection
  • Music Licensing
  • Finalize all Color Correction, Sound/Audio Design, Graphics
  • Final Review and Changes
  • Final Exports & Finishing
  • Delivery